July 16, 2020 11:43 AM
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) has urged Putrajaya to extend the six-month moratorium for loans for the B40 and M40 groups, saying they have been the most affected by the recent economic downturn.
“They need an additional six-month respite as clearly, the country needs at least that much time and well beyond to get the economy ticking again, while waiting to go full throttle once the Covid-19 vaccine makes it to our shores,” MTUC secretary-general J Solomon said in a statement.
He also urged Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin or Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz to state clearly whether or not the moratorium would be extended.
The moratorium, introduced on April 1, will end on Sept 30.
Tengku Zafrul previously said the government would engage with banks on the matter although Bank Negara Malaysia said it had no intention of extending the moratorium.
Solomon said statistics showed that more than 800,000 people had lost their jobs in the first five months of the year.
He said this should serve as a “sobering reminder” of why the moratorium should be extended by at least six more months.
He said ending it in September would bring misery and hardship to the people.
“Extending it by another six months will provide temporary financial relief which they desperately need to help lessen their despair.”
He also said banks could afford to grant the extension as the government had often said the financial system had more than enough liquidity.
He also noted that the central bank had injected RM16 billion worth of liquidity into the banking system in May.